Ten Years of Stack Giving Back

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In 2009, Stack Overflow’s three employees (or associates, as they were then called) were inspired to end the year by giving back. To recognize our amazing community of moderators, we made small contributions to six nonprofits. Since then, we’ve donated over $350,000 through what we’ve dubbed Stack Overflow Gives Back. This year, we’re celebrating the initiative’s 10th anniversary (along with the 10th anniversary of our company!). This month our 577 incredible community moderators selected from five charities to which we will donate $100 on their behalf (that’s $57,000!). Our sites literally couldn’t succeed without these incredible volunteers, so we’re proud to be able to give a little back to some wonderful causes in thanks for all their efforts. Today, we’re celebrating each of the organizations and highlighting how these contributions may impact each one:

Crisis Text Line - $7,700 donation

A series of high-profile and heartbreaking deaths this year brought much-needed attention to mental health issues. We recognize that there’s a lot of stigma around talking about mental illness, and that’s why we’re happy to support a nonprofit that’s leveraging technology to do something about it. Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7 confidential support for those in crisis, whether it’s depression, anxiety, eating disorders, bullying, or suicidal thoughts. Crisis Text Line acts as a simple support resource, while using data to make us better and to improve communities. Our donation to the organization this year will support about one month of the technology required to keep the platform up and running.

Doctors Without Borders - $19,000 donation

Our community of moderators is incredibly global, and Stack Overflow is used by people all over the world. Doctors Without Borders is one of the world’s most robust efforts to provide medical aid where it’s needed most. The nonprofit has reach into more than 70 countries around the world. They do everything from providing emergency response and access to healthcare to advocating for medical care and research. Doctors Without Borders impacts everything from Ebola outbreaks and the ongoing HIV/AIDS crisis, to the malnutrition that affects over 20 million children. Few organizations are able to tackle so many issues and touch so many people as Doctors Without Borders.

Electronic Frontier Foundation - $12,800 donation

A lot of legislation was passed in 2018 all over the world, and not all of it was great for a free and open internet. Fortunately, organizations like The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) are monitoring legislation and court cases in order to fight the good fight. EFF is the leading nonprofit defending digital privacy, free speech, and innovation. They champion these things through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism and technology development. The foundation works to ensure that rights and freedoms are enhanced and protected as our technology grows.

Pursuit - $6,800 donation

Over the past year, Stack Overflow has taken big steps to make the site more welcoming and inclusive. This is why we’re especially excited about Pursuit, a non-profit that welcomes 200+ people into coding and tech every year. Pursuit partners with tech companies to create new pathways for high-need, high-potential employees by training their blue-collar and non-traditional workers to become software engineers. Over a four-year Fellowship, Fellows spend 10 or 12 months in intensive training, followed by three years of one-on-one career support. The Fellowship’s Graduates’ average annual salaries have quadrupled, going from about $18,000 a year to $85,000.

Sea Legacy - $11,400 donation

Intellectual curiosity drives many of our contributors. There are a number of excellent nonprofits working to combat climate change and save our planet, and Sea Legacy is doing just that by relying on people’s intellectual curiosity to catalyze change. The nonprofit works to create healthy and abundant oceans by producing powerful media and art that gives people hope. Sea Legacy is a collective of some of the most experienced and renowned photographers, filmmakers, and storytellers, working together on behalf of our oceans. Their important and ambitious work is on display in their popular Instagram. And their Instagram is a key part of their bold goal: to engage one billion people in ocean conservation. They’ve already reached a potential audience of 1.8 billion people, which is the advertising equivalent of $16.8 million. While we’re super excited to be giving back to these impactful nonprofits, it’s also important that we recognize the tools and organizations that help our Engineering and IT teams do their jobs everyday. This year, we donated $1,000 to each of the following organizations Powershell Summit OnRamp; OpenSSL Foundation; HAProxy; LetsEncrypt; Free Open Ghost. We are thrilled to be supporting so many important and impactful organizations, but more than anything we’re feeling very grateful for our moderators and our community. They contribute so much to Stack Overflow, which contributes so much to the world. We (Stack Overflow’s now more than three employees, who are no longer called associates) are humbled to be giving a little something back on their behalf. Cheers to an incredible 2018 and an exciting New Year!

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